The German Society for Orthopaedics and Trauma (DGOU) was successfully founded in 2008 by the German Society for Orthopaedics and Orthopaedic Surgery (DGOOC) and the German Trauma Society (DGU) as an umbrella and member organisation. Today, the DGOU has more than 10,600 members, making it the largest surgical society in Germany.
Orthopaedics and traumatology thus jointly present themselves as a strong and diverse specialist discipline of surgery. It strictly adheres to the concept of providing solid surgical basic training including training in emergency surgery and intensive care in the common trunk as well as the option to rotate among other surgical disciplines, depending on personal interests and career goals. Following common trunk training, the core subject of orthopaedics and traumatology is also taught through a broad catalogue of conservative and surgical further training measures to ensure that the many areas of specialisation are always based on a solid foundation. Specialising too early without basic further training in surgery would not uphold these standards and ultimately carries the risk of producing inferior surgeons who are not in a position to make decisions. These basic foundations for the orthopaedic and traumatology professions need to be maintained by any amendment of the further education system.
The discipline of orthopaedics and traumatology includes preventative care, specialised diagnostics, comprehensive conservative treatments and standardised as well as highly specialised surgical procedures and rehabilitation. The wide scope of treatment in orthopaedics and traumatology allows us to continue to offer comprehensive medical care that includes advising patients, proposing a form of treatment, and selecting the suitable surgical procedure according to the best available scientific knowledge.
The tasks our discipline is facing are growing hugely in quantitative terms due to demographic change and the corresponding demand for both conservative and surgical treatment. Thanks to the continuous further development of minimally invasive techniques and well-considered perioperative treatment, the quality of medical care available to patients is constantly improving. By establishing registers of quality tools, the DGOU is contributing to long-term and measurable improvements in quality. All these factors show doctors and students of orthopaedics and traumatology that this wide discipline offers excellent and highly attractive prospects for the future.
Nevertheless, orthopaedics and traumatology are also experiencing increasing economic constraints. Hospitals and medical practices are facing rising cost pressures, they are forced to focus primarily on rationalisation and increasing efficiency, and have an excessive administrative burden. All this drains the resources required to carry out our foremost task – the trustful and expert treatment of our patients.
The practical and scientific work of the DGOU is carried out by almost 40 sections and work groups – some of which are independently organised – as well as its panels and boards. These committed and broad-based subdivisions of the DGOU work on the various aspects of the wide spectrum of orthopaedic and trauma treatment. Professionally conducted basic research, translational research and clinical research are prerequisite for the further development of the treatment options of today and tomorrow.
Another dimension of the work of the DGOU, and thus of the DGOOC and the DGU, is to drive structural developments such as the professional registers on quality assurance – including the TraumaRegister and the German Endoprosthesis Register – as well as international collaboration and defining guidelines. Our members thus have a wide variety of options for actively participating in our work.
The motto of the German Congress on Orthopaedics and Traumatology (DKOU) in 2017 is motion is life. Maintaining and restoring motion is not just the focus of the congress but is basically also the focus of our work as orthopaedists and trauma surgeons. Together with Professor Andrea Meurer and Professor Alexander Beck, we plan to offer a wide forum at this year’s event in October to debate all the relevant aspects of our discipline. The guest nation for 2017, the US, will support us through active participation in the international sessions, along with many European and national associations.
I would like to thank you for your faith in giving me the opportunity, as president of the DGOU, to address these many challenges together with you.
Welcome Note by the DGOU President 2017